Women's Lacrosse |
March 21, 2011
By Rachel Hundley
Every team has a heartbeat that keeps the team alive. It's that pulse that pushes it through difficult situations, encouraging players to fight through adversity and it often leads them to success. Junior Laura Simanski is the pulse and the pressure of the University of Cincinnati lacrosse team.
The midfielder from Reisterstown, Md. is the driving force behind this young Bearcats squad that seeks to make further strides toward improvement in its fourth year of existence. Simanksi feels that she can set the beat for the rest of her teammates to follow as they face a challenging 2011 non-conference schedule as well as a formidable BIG EAST Conference schedule. The league docket features two road dates with 2010 NCAA qualifiers Georgetown and Syracuse, and a home match-up with Notre Dame, another 2010 NCAA qualifier.
"I always try to lead by example. If I'm going hard, I feel like the whole team will play hard, too," Simanski said. "I feel like a lot of the team goes off of what I do. If I'm playing well, I feel like the whole team will play well. We all feed off of each other's energy, effort and dedication."
In a selfless display of her own dedication and effort toward this squad's success, Simanski switched positions this season from attacker to midfielder on her request, which will open up scoring possibilities for her younger teammates. Simanski led the Bearcats last season for the second consecutive year with 51 points (46 goals, 5 assists), but she hopes her move to the midfield will allow her to further contribute in more aspects of the game.
"I really want to succeed in the midfield," Simanski said. "We don't have a lot of attackers, but we have a lot of talent on the attack. We want to get as many attackers as we can on the field, and with me playing in the midfield, I hope I can help on both ends of the field instead of just one end."
Simanski sees a bright future ahead for UC with this season's new additions to the squad and the abilities that the freshmen contingent is bringing to Cincinnati.
"Our 10 new freshmen have brought in so much talent on the attacking and defensive end, so we're a lot faster than last year," Simanski said. "I think that we can beat teams with speed, and hopefully, we can play smart enough to win a lot of those games that we lost last year."
The Maryland native is confident that she will get plenty of help from an accomplished midfield corps that features seniors Natalie Starvaggi and Lynsey Burton, as well as a talented freshmen class, which Simanski feels may be able to push the Bearcats over the hump into postseason play.
"We want to make it to the BIG EAST Tournament, because it's our fourth year and we really want to improve on everything from last year," Simanski said. "We definitely have the caliber of players to make it to the BIG EAST Tournament; we just have to prove it."